Maximilian Godefroy

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First Unitarian Church (Baltimore, Maryland), 1818 Angeloftruth035.JPG
First Unitarian Church (Baltimore, Maryland), 1818

J. Maximilian M. Godefroy (1765 – circa 1838) was a French-American architect. Godefroy was born in France and educated as a geographical/civil engineer. During the French Revolution he fought briefly on the Royalist side. Later, as an anti-Bonaparte activist, he was imprisoned in the fortress of Bellegarde and Chateau D'if then released about 1805 and allowed to come to the United States, settling in Baltimore, Maryland, where he became an instructor in drawing, art and military science at St. Mary's College, the Sulpician Seminary. [1] By 1808, Godefroy had married Eliza Crawford Anderson, editor of her own periodical, the Observer and the niece of a wealthy Baltimore merchant. [2]

Architect person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction

An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

Fort de Bellegarde

The Fort de Bellegarde is a 17th-century bastion fortification located above the town of Le Perthus, in the Pyrénées-Orientales département of southern France.


While in Baltimore, he designed a number of important and famous structures including the St. Mary's Seminary Chapel, (part of the group of academic buildings now demolished 1970 for a park) of St. Mary's Seminary and College along St. Mary's and Orchard Streets in the Seton Hill neighborhood in the northwest city, the Battle Monument, in the old Courthouse Square of the central city (for the defenders and casualties of the British bombardment of Fort McHenry and the Battle of North Point in September 1814, at North Calvert Street, between East Lexington and Fayette Streets, and the First Independent Church of Baltimore (later known as "Unitarian and Universalist" by 1935, at North Charles and West Franklin Streets - in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood). Other projects included the Commercial and Farmers Bank (now demolished), as well as the iron gates and monuments in the burial grounds beneath the Westminster Presbyterian Church (at North Greene and West Fayette Streets), the "sally port" (gatehouse) at Fort McHenry, as well as submitting plans for the 1815 design competition for the Washington Monument to be built in Baltimore. Godefroy became acquainted with well-known British-American architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, (1764-1820), and married Eliza Crawford Anderson, whose father, Dr. John Crawford, was one of the founders of the College of Medicine of Maryland. [3] However, while working with Latrobe on the "Baltimore Merchant's Exchange" (demolished to make way for the new U.S. Custom House in 1902), Godefroy and Latrobe fell out and dissolved the partnership. Latrobe was to have contributed the overall design, while Godefroy was to execute the drawings and supervise construction. Godefroy changed the plans to reflect his own ideas. After parting company, Latrobe continued to credit Godefroy with the design for the front of the Exchange, and did not compete with him for the plans to design the new First Independent Church (Unitarians). Godefroy, however, blamed Latrobe for his inability to obtain further work in Baltimore. [2]

St. Marys Seminary Chapel

St. Mary's Seminary Chapel, located at 600 North Paca Street in the Seton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, is the oldest Neo-Gothic style church in the United States. It was built from 1806 through 1808 by French architect J. Maximilian M. Godefroy for the French Sulpician priests of St. Mary's Seminary. Godefroy claimed that his design was the first Gothic building in America.

St. Marys Seminary and University

St. Mary's Seminary and University is a Roman Catholic seminary located within the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland; it was the first seminary founded in the United States of America after the Revolution.

Battle Monument monument in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

The Battle Monument, located in Battle Monument Square on North Calvert Street between East Fayette and East Lexington Streets in Baltimore, Maryland, commemorates the Battle of Baltimore with the British fleet of the Royal Navy's bombardment of Fort McHenry, the Battle of North Point, southeast of the city in Baltimore County on the Patapsco Neck peninsula, and the stand-off on the eastern siege fortifications along Loudenschlager and Potter's Hills, later called Hampstead Hill, in what is now Patterson Park since 1827, east of town. It honors those who died during the month of September 1814 during the War of 1812. The monument lies in the middle of the street and is between the two Baltimore City Circuit Courthouses that are located on the opposite sides of North Calvert Street. It was sponsored by the City and the "Committee of Vigilance and Safety" led by Mayor Edward Johnson and military commanders: Brig. Gen. John Stricker, Maj. Gen. Samuel Smith and Lt. Col. George Armistead.

Godefroy left Baltimore in 1819 for England, his daughter dying of yellow fever before the ship had cleared Chesapeake Bay. He worked for a while in London, then moved on to France. [4] Prior to his death in 1838/40?, he designed a new wing to the Palais de Justice and the Préfecture, both at Laval, Mayenne, France. [5]

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Yellow fever viral disease

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Chesapeake Bay An estuary in the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia

The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary in the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia. The Bay is located in the Mid-Atlantic region and is primarily separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Delmarva Peninsula with its mouth located between Cape Henry and Cape Charles. With its northern portion in Maryland and the southern part in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, as well as others. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the Bay's 64,299-square-mile (166,534 km2) drainage basin, which covers parts of six states and all of Washington, D.C.

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Bardstown, Kentucky City in Kentucky, United States

Bardstown is a home rule-class city in Nelson County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was recorded as 11,700 by the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Nelson County. It is named for the pioneering Bard brothers. David Bard obtained a 1,000 acres (400 ha) land grant in 1785 in what was then Jefferson County, Virginia, from Governor Patrick Henry. William Bard surveyed and platted the town. It was originally chartered as Baird's Town in 1788, and has also been known as Beardstown, and Beards Town.

First Unitarian Church (Baltimore, Maryland) church building in Maryland, United States of America

The First Unitarian Church is a historic church and congregation at 12 West Franklin Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Dedicated in 1818, it was the first building erected for Unitarians in the United States. The church is a domed cube with a stucco exterior. The church, originally called the "First Independent Church of Baltimore", is the oldest building continuously used by a Unitarian congregation. The name was changed in 1935 to "The First Unitarian Church of Baltimore " following the merger with the former Second Universalist Church at East Lanvale Street and Guilford Avenue in midtown Baltimore. The American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America (established 1866) representing the two strains of Unitarian Universalism beliefs and philosophies merged as a national denomination named the Unitarian Universalist Association in May 1961.

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Peale Museum museum in Baltimore, Maryland, US

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Baltimore City Circuit Courthouses building in Maryland, United States

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Baltimore City Hall city hall

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First Presbyterian Church and Manse (Baltimore, Maryland) church in Baltimore, Maryland

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  1. "Maryland ArtSource". Maximilian Godefroy (c.1770-c.1837). The Baltimore Art Research & Outreach Consortium. 2009-02-09.
  2. 1 2 Dorsey, John; Dilts, James D. (1997). A Guide to the Architecture of Baltimore (3rd ed.). Centreville, Maryland: Tidewater Publishers. pp. 401–402. ISBN   0-87033-477-8.
  3. John G. Waite Associates (December 5, 1997). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: College of Medicine of Maryland (pdf). National Park Service.
  4. Dorsey, John; Dilts, James D. (1981). A Guide to Baltimore Architecture (Second ed.). Centreville, Maryland: Tidewater Publishes. pp. 273–274. ISBN   0-87033-272-4.
  5. "". Maximilien Godefroy. Answers Corporation. 2009-02-09.